Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees, 22936-22939 [2021-09035]

Download as PDF 22936 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than seven days after the case briefs, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.309(d). Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) a statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.14 All comments are to be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS) available to registered users at https:// access.trade.gov, and must also be served on interested parties. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day it is due.15 Note that Commerce has temporarily modified certain of its requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information, until further notice.16 Consistent with 19 CFR 351.216(e), we will issue the final results of this CCR no later than 270 days after the date on which this review was initiated, or within 45 days if all parties agree to our preliminary finding. This notice is published in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(b), 351.221(b) and 351.221(c)(3). Dated: April 23, 2021. Ryan Majerus, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Negotiations. [FR Doc. 2021–09071 Filed 4–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Executive Council Meeting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Program Office will hold a virtual, organizational meeting of the NIDIS Executive Council on May 4, 2021. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 14 See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2). 19 CFR 351.303(b). 16 See Temporary Rule Modifying AD/CVD Service Requirements Due to COVID–19; Extension of Effective Period, 85 FR 41363 (July 10, 2020). 15 See VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 The meeting will be held Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. EST to 2:00 p.m. EST. These times and the agenda topics are subject to change. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held virtually. To register, please visit: https://cpaess.ucar.edu/meetings/2021nidis. You must register online to receive the webcast meeting link and audio teleconference information for participation. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Veva Deheza, NIDIS Executive Director, David Skaggs Research Center, Room GD102, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. Phone Number: 303–487–3431; Email: Veva.Deheza@noaa.gov; or visit the NIDIS website at www.drought.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) was established by Public Law 109–430 on December 20, 2006, and reauthorized by Public Law 113–86 on March 6, 2014 and Public Law 115–423 on January 7, 2019 , with a mandate to provide an effective drought early warning system for the United States; coordinate, and integrate as practicable, Federal research in support of a drought early warning system; and build upon existing forecasting and assessment programs and partnerships. See 15 U.S.C. 313d. The Public Law also calls for consultation with ‘‘relevant Federal, regional, State, tribal, and local government agencies, research institutions, and the private sector’’ in the development of NIDIS. 15 U.S.C. 313d(c). The NIDIS Executive Council provides the NIDIS Program Office with an opportunity to engage in individual consultation with senior resource officials from NIDIS’s Federal partners, as well as leaders from state and local government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. Status: This meeting will be open to public participation. Individuals interested in attending should register at https://cpaess.ucar.edu/meetings/2021nidis. Please refer to this web page for the most up-to-date meeting times and agenda. Matters to be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) NIDIS implementation updates and 2021 priorities, including response to current drought conditions in the Western United States, (2) Executive Council member updates relevant to Climate Adaptation and Resilience, Drought, Water, and Fire, (3) Federal Agency Water and Drought Priorities, Executive Orders, and Legislative Updates, and (4) NIDIS PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Implementation Plan 2021–2025 as well as program growth and emerging issues. Dated: April 21, 2021. David Holst, Chief Financial Officer/Administrative Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2021–09080 Filed 4–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–KB–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651–0016 (Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB. DATES: To ensure consideration, comments regarding this information collection must be received on or before June 29, 2021. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments by any of the following methods. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. • Email: InformationCollection@ uspto.gov. Include ‘‘0651–0016 comment’’ in the subject line of the message. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313– 1450. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to Parikha Mehta, Patent Examination Policy Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), P.O. Box 1450, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices Alexandria, VA 22313–1450; by telephone at 571–272–3248; or by email at Parikha.Mehta@uspto.gov with ‘‘0651–0016 comment’’ in the subject line. Additional information about this information collection is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov under ‘‘Information Collection Review.’’ SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Abstract Under 35 U.S.C. 41 and 37 CFR 1.20(e)–(h), 1.362, 1.363, 1.366, 1.377, and 1.378, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) charges fees for maintaining in force all utility patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980. Payment of these maintenance fees is due at 31⁄2, 71⁄2, and 111⁄2 years after the date the patent was granted. If the USPTO does not receive payment of the appropriate maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge within a grace period of six months following each of the above due dates (at 4, 8, or 12 years after the date of grant), the patent will expire at that time. After a patent expires, it is no longer enforceable. Maintenance fees are not required for design, plant, or reissue patents if the patent being reissued did not require maintenance fees. Payments of maintenance fees that are submitted during the 6-month grace period before patent expiration must include the appropriate surcharge as indicated by 37 CFR 1.20(h). Submissions of maintenance fee payments and surcharges must include the relevant patent number and the corresponding United States application number in order to identify the correct patent and ensure proper crediting of the fee being paid. If the USPTO refuses to accept and record a maintenance fee payment that was submitted prior to the expiration of a patent, the patentee may petition the Director to accept and record the maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.377. This petition must be accompanied by the fee indicated in 37 CFR 1.17(g), which may be refunded if it is determined that the refusal to accept the maintenance fee was due to an error by the USPTO. If a patent has expired due to nonpayment of a maintenance fee, the patentee may petition the Director to accept a delayed payment of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.378. The Director may accept the payment of a maintenance fee after the expiration of the patent if the petitioner shows to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in payment was unintentional. Petitions to accept unintentionally delayed payment must also be accompanied by the required maintenance fee and the petition fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(m). If the Director accepts the maintenance fee payment upon petition, then the patent is reinstated. If the USPTO denies a petition to accept delayed payment of a maintenance fee in an expired patent, the patentee may petition the Director to reconsider that decision under 37 CFR 1.378(d). The rules of practice (37 CFR 1.33(d) and 1.363) permit applicants, patentees, assignees, or their representatives of record to specify a ‘‘fee address’’ for correspondence related to maintenance fees that is separate from the correspondence address associated with a patent or application. A fee address must be an address that is associated with a USPTO customer number. Customer numbers may be requested by using the Request for Customer Number Form (PTO/SB/125), which is covered under OMB control number 0651–0035. Maintaining a correct and updated address is necessary so that fee-related correspondence from the USPTO will be properly received by the applicant, patentee, assignee, or authorized representative. If a separate fee address is not specified for a patent or application, the USPTO will direct feerelated correspondence to the correspondence address of record. This information collection covers the forms needed to submit a patent maintenance fee payment (PTO/SB/45 and AIA/47) and to designate or change a fee address (PTO/SB/47). The USPTO also offers two different versions of the form for petitions to accept unintentionally delayed payment of maintenance fee in an expired patent under 37 CFR 1.378(b). In addition to the PDF version that may be completed electronically, the USPTO also offers a Web-based ePetition. Customers may also submit maintenance fee payments and surcharges incurred during the 6month grace period before patent expiration by using the Maintenance PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22937 Fee Transmittal Form (PTO/SB/45) or by paying online through the USPTO’s online Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront. However, to pay a maintenance fee after patent expiration, the maintenance fee payment and the petition fee, as set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(m), must be filed together with a petition to accept unintentionally delayed payment. The USPTO accepts online maintenance fee payments by credit card, deposit account, or electronic funds transfer (EFT). Otherwise, non-electronic payments may be made by check, credit card, or deposit account. II. Method of Collection Items in this information collection may be submitted via online electronic submissions. In limited circumstances, applicants may be permitted to submit the information in paper form by mail, fax, or hand delivery. III. Data OMB Number: 0651–0016. Form Numbers: • PTO/SB/45 (Maintenance Fee Transmittal Form) • PTO/SB/47 (‘‘Fee Address’’ Indication Form) • PTO/SB/66 (Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b)) Type of Review: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection. Affected Public: Private sector; individuals or households. Estimated Number of Respondents: 577,892 per year. Estimated Number of Responses: 577,892 per year. Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the public approximately 0.5 minutes (0.01 hours) to 8 hours to complete this information, depending upon the item. This includes the time to gather the necessary information, prepare and maintain the documents, and submit the items to the USPTO. Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 12,945 hours. Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Hourly): $2,771,565. E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 22938 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices TABLE 1—BURDEN HOUR/BURDEN COST TO RESPONDENTS FOR PRIVATE SECTOR Item No. Estimated annual respondents Item 1 ........................... 2 ........................... 3 ........................... 4 ........................... 5 ........................... 6 ........................... Totals ............ Maintenance Fee Transmittal Transactions (PTO/SB/45). Electronic Maintenance Fee Transactions. Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b)) (PTO/SB/66). Petition to Review Refusal to Accept Payment of Maintenance Fee Prior to Expiration of Patent (37 CFR 1.377). Petition for Reconsideration of Decision on Petition Refusing to Accept Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(d)). ‘‘Fee Address’’ Indication Form (PTO/SB/47). .................................................... Estimated annual responses (year) Estimated time for response (hours) Estimated annual burden (hour/year) Rate 1 ($/hour) Estimated annual respondent cost burden (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) 9,923 9,923 0.08 (5 minutes) ......... 794 $145 $115,130 486,092 486,092 0.01 (0.5 minutes) ...... 4,861 145 704,845 2,288 2,288 1 .................................. 2,288 400 915,200 1 1 4 .................................. 4 400 1,600 121 121 8 .................................. 968 400 387,200 39,013 39,013 0.08 (5 minutes) ......... 3,121 145 $452,545 537,438 537,438 ..................................... 12,036 ........................ 2,576,520 1 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms which is $400 per hour. The hourly rate for paraprofessional/paralegals is estimated at $145 from data published in the 2018 Utilization and Compensation Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). TABLE 2—BURDEN HOUR/BURDEN COST TO RESPONDENTS FOR RULES FOR INDIVIDUALS OR HOUSEHOLDS Estimated annual responses (year) Estimated annual respondents Item No. Item 1 ........................... Maintenance Fee Transmittal Transactions (PTO/SB/45). Electronic Maintenance Fee Transactions. Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b)) (PTO/SB/66). Petition to Review Refusal to Accept Payment of Maintenance Fee Prior to Expiration of Patent (37 CFR 1.377). Petition for Reconsideration of Decision on Petition Refusing to Accept Delayed Payment of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(d)). ‘‘Fee Address’’ Indication Form (PTO/SB/47). (a) 2 ........................... 4 ........................... 5 ........................... 6 ........................... 7 ........................... Totals ............ .................................................... Estimated time for response (hours) Estimated annual burden (hour/year) Rate 2 ($/hour) Estimated annual respondent cost burden (b) (a) × (b) = (c) (d) (c) × (d) = (e) 747 747 0.08 (5 minutes) ......... 60 $145 $8,700 36,588 36,588 0.01 (0.5 minute) ........ 366 145 53,070 172 172 1 .................................. 172 400 68,800 1 1 4 .................................. 4 400 1,600 9 9 8 .................................. 72 400 28,800 2,937 2,937 0.08 (5 minutes) ......... 235 145 34,075 40,454 40,454 ..................................... 909 ........................ 195,045 2 2019 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms which is $400 per hour. The hourly rate for paraprofessional/paralegals is estimated at $145 from data published in the 2018 Utilization and Compensation Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Non-Hourly): $1,586,634,038. This information collection has no capital start-up, maintenance, or operating fees. This information collection does has VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 filing fees and postage costs. The filing fees are associated with the maintenance of patents, which are listed in the table below. The total non-hour respondent cost burden for this PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 information collection in the form of filing fees ($1,586,633,000) and postage costs ($1,038) is approximately $1,586,634,038. E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 22939 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 82 / Friday, April 30, 2021 / Notices TABLE 3—FILING FEES—NON-HOUR COST BURDEN FOR RULES FOR PATENT MAINTENANCE FEES Item No. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 Item ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ Filing fee Burden $ (a) (b) (a) × (b) = (c) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5 Years (undiscounted entity) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5 Years (small entity) .............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5 Years (micro entity) ............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5 Years (undiscounted entity) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5 Years (small entity) .............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5 Years (micro entity) ............. For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 11.5 Years (undiscounted entity) For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 11.5 Years (small entity) ............ For Maintaining an Original or Any Reissue Patent, Due at 11.5 Years (micro entity) ........... Surcharge—3.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (undiscounted entity) ......................... Surcharge—3.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (small entity) ...................................... Surcharge—3.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (micro entity) ...................................... Surcharge—7.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (undiscounted entity) ......................... Surcharge—7.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (small entity) ...................................... Surcharge—7.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (micro entity) ...................................... Surcharge—11.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (undiscounted entity) ....................... Surcharge—11.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (small entity) .................................... Surcharge—11.5 year—Late Payment Within 6 Months (micro entity) .................................... Petition for the Delayed Payment of the Fee for Maintaining a Patent in Force (undiscounted entity). Petition for the Delayed Payment of the Fee for Maintaining a Patent in Force (small entity) Petition for the Delayed Payment of the Fee for Maintaining a Patent in Force (micro entity) 220,200 49,000 4,500 134,500 26,600 1,500 63,800 9,200 600 3,600 6,450 1,200 2,550 3,550 450 1,450 1,500 250 650 $2,000 1,000 500 3,760 1,880 940 7,700 3,850 1,925 500 250 125 500 250 125 500 250 125 2,100 $440,400,000 49,000,000 2,250,000 505,720,000 50,008,000 1,410,000 491,260,000 35,420,000 1,155,000 1,800,000 1,612,500 150,000 1,275,000 887,500 56,250 725,000 375,000 31,250 1,365,000 1,500 300 1,050 525 1,575,000 157,500 Totals ............................................................................................................................................................................. ........................ ........................ 1,586,633,000 3 ............................ 3 ............................ The public may submit the forms and petitions in this information collection to the USPTO by mail through the United States Postal Service. The USPTO estimates that the average postage cost for a mailed submission, using a Priority Mail 2-day flat rate legal envelope, will be $8.05. The USPTO estimates approximately 129 submissions per year may be mailed to the USPTO, for a total postage cost of $1,038 per year. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits. IV. Request for Comments jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Responses The USPTO is soliciting public comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Apr 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 All comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. USPTO will include or summarize each comment in the request to OMB to approve this information collection. Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information (PII) in a comment, be aware that the entire comment—including PII—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask in your comment to withhold PII from public view, USPTO cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. Kimberly Hardy, Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2021–09035 Filed 4–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Third-Party Submissions and Protests Notice of information collection; request for comment. ACTION: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 comments on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 0651–0062 (Third-Party Submissions and Protests). The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the information collection to OMB. DATES: To ensure consideration, comments regarding this information collection must be received on or before June 29, 2021. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments by any of the following methods. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. • Email: InformationCollection@ uspto.gov. Include ‘‘0651–0062 comment’’ in the subject line of the message. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313– 1450. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to Parikha Mehta, Patent Examination Policy Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450; by telephone at 571–272– 3248; or by email to Parikha.Mehta@ uspto.gov with ‘‘0651–0062 comment’’ in the subject line. Additional information about this information collection is also available at http:// E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 82 (Friday, April 30, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22936-22939]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09035]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office


Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment 
Request; Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of 
Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, invites comments 
on the extension and revision of an existing information collection: 
0651-0016 (Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees). The purpose of this 
notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of 
the information collection to OMB.

DATES: To ensure consideration, comments regarding this information 
collection must be received on or before June 29, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments by 
any of the following methods. Do not submit Confidential Business 
Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``0651-
0016 comment'' in the subject line of the message.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: Kimberly Hardy, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, 
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be directed to Parikha Mehta, Patent Examination Policy Advisor, 
Office of Patent Legal Administration, United States Patent and 
Trademark Office (USPTO), P.O. Box 1450,

[[Page 22937]]

Alexandria, VA 22313-1450; by telephone at 571-272-3248; or by email at 
[email protected] with ``0651-0016 comment'' in the subject line. 
Additional information about this information collection is also 
available at http://www.reginfo.gov under ``Information Collection 
Review.''

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Abstract

    Under 35 U.S.C. 41 and 37 CFR 1.20(e)-(h), 1.362, 1.363, 1.366, 
1.377, and 1.378, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 
charges fees for maintaining in force all utility patents based on 
applications filed on or after December 12, 1980. Payment of these 
maintenance fees is due at 3\1/2\, 7\1/2\, and 11\1/2\ years after the 
date the patent was granted. If the USPTO does not receive payment of 
the appropriate maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge within a 
grace period of six months following each of the above due dates (at 4, 
8, or 12 years after the date of grant), the patent will expire at that 
time. After a patent expires, it is no longer enforceable. Maintenance 
fees are not required for design, plant, or reissue patents if the 
patent being reissued did not require maintenance fees.
    Payments of maintenance fees that are submitted during the 6-month 
grace period before patent expiration must include the appropriate 
surcharge as indicated by 37 CFR 1.20(h). Submissions of maintenance 
fee payments and surcharges must include the relevant patent number and 
the corresponding United States application number in order to identify 
the correct patent and ensure proper crediting of the fee being paid.
    If the USPTO refuses to accept and record a maintenance fee payment 
that was submitted prior to the expiration of a patent, the patentee 
may petition the Director to accept and record the maintenance fee 
under 37 CFR 1.377. This petition must be accompanied by the fee 
indicated in 37 CFR 1.17(g), which may be refunded if it is determined 
that the refusal to accept the maintenance fee was due to an error by 
the USPTO.
    If a patent has expired due to nonpayment of a maintenance fee, the 
patentee may petition the Director to accept a delayed payment of the 
maintenance fee under 37 CFR 1.378. The Director may accept the payment 
of a maintenance fee after the expiration of the patent if the 
petitioner shows to the satisfaction of the Director that the delay in 
payment was unintentional. Petitions to accept unintentionally delayed 
payment must also be accompanied by the required maintenance fee and 
the petition fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(m). If the Director 
accepts the maintenance fee payment upon petition, then the patent is 
reinstated. If the USPTO denies a petition to accept delayed payment of 
a maintenance fee in an expired patent, the patentee may petition the 
Director to reconsider that decision under 37 CFR 1.378(d).
    The rules of practice (37 CFR 1.33(d) and 1.363) permit applicants, 
patentees, assignees, or their representatives of record to specify a 
``fee address'' for correspondence related to maintenance fees that is 
separate from the correspondence address associated with a patent or 
application. A fee address must be an address that is associated with a 
USPTO customer number. Customer numbers may be requested by using the 
Request for Customer Number Form (PTO/SB/125), which is covered under 
OMB control number 0651-0035. Maintaining a correct and updated address 
is necessary so that fee-related correspondence from the USPTO will be 
properly received by the applicant, patentee, assignee, or authorized 
representative. If a separate fee address is not specified for a patent 
or application, the USPTO will direct fee-related correspondence to the 
correspondence address of record.
    This information collection covers the forms needed to submit a 
patent maintenance fee payment (PTO/SB/45 and AIA/47) and to designate 
or change a fee address (PTO/SB/47). The USPTO also offers two 
different versions of the form for petitions to accept unintentionally 
delayed payment of maintenance fee in an expired patent under 37 CFR 
1.378(b). In addition to the PDF version that may be completed 
electronically, the USPTO also offers a Web-based ePetition. Customers 
may also submit maintenance fee payments and surcharges incurred during 
the 6-month grace period before patent expiration by using the 
Maintenance Fee Transmittal Form (PTO/SB/45) or by paying online 
through the USPTO's online Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront. However, 
to pay a maintenance fee after patent expiration, the maintenance fee 
payment and the petition fee, as set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(m), must be 
filed together with a petition to accept unintentionally delayed 
payment. The USPTO accepts online maintenance fee payments by credit 
card, deposit account, or electronic funds transfer (EFT). Otherwise, 
non-electronic payments may be made by check, credit card, or deposit 
account.

II. Method of Collection

    Items in this information collection may be submitted via online 
electronic submissions. In limited circumstances, applicants may be 
permitted to submit the information in paper form by mail, fax, or hand 
delivery.

III. Data

    OMB Number: 0651-0016.
    Form Numbers:

 PTO/SB/45 (Maintenance Fee Transmittal Form)
 PTO/SB/47 (``Fee Address'' Indication Form)
 PTO/SB/66 (Petition to Accept Unintentionally Delayed Payment 
of Maintenance Fee in an Expired Patent (37 CFR 1.378(b))

    Type of Review: Extension and revision of a currently approved 
information collection.
    Affected Public: Private sector; individuals or households.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 577,892 per year.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 577,892 per year.
    Estimated Time per Response: The USPTO estimates that it takes the 
public approximately 0.5 minutes (0.01 hours) to 8 hours to complete 
this information, depending upon the item. This includes the time to 
gather the necessary information, prepare and maintain the documents, 
and submit the items to the USPTO.
    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 12,945 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Hourly): $2,771,565.

[[Page 22938]]



                                           Table 1--Burden Hour/Burden Cost to Respondents for Private Sector
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Estimated                                                                    Estimated
                                                Estimated        annual          Estimated time  for         Estimated     Rate \1\  ($/      annual
        Item No.                Item             annual         responses         response  (hours)        annual burden       hour)        respondent
                                               respondents       (year)                                     (hour/year)                     cost burden
                                                                        (a)  (b)........................     (a) x (b) =             (d)     (c) x (d) =
                                                                                                                     (c)                             (e)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1......................  Maintenance Fee              9,923           9,923  0.08 (5 minutes)...........             794            $145        $115,130
                          Transmittal
                          Transactions (PTO/
                          SB/45).
2......................  Electronic                 486,092         486,092  0.01 (0.5 minutes).........           4,861             145         704,845
                          Maintenance Fee
                          Transactions.
3......................  Petition to Accept           2,288           2,288  1..........................           2,288             400         915,200
                          Unintentionally
                          Delayed Payment
                          of Maintenance
                          Fee in an Expired
                          Patent (37 CFR
                          1.378(b)) (PTO/SB/
                          66).
4......................  Petition to Review               1               1  4..........................               4             400           1,600
                          Refusal to Accept
                          Payment of
                          Maintenance Fee
                          Prior to
                          Expiration of
                          Patent (37 CFR
                          1.377).
5......................  Petition for                   121             121  8..........................             968             400         387,200
                          Reconsideration
                          of Decision on
                          Petition Refusing
                          to Accept Delayed
                          Payment of
                          Maintenance Fee
                          in an Expired
                          Patent (37 CFR
                          1.378(d)).
6......................  ``Fee Address''             39,013          39,013  0.08 (5 minutes)...........           3,121             145        $452,545
                          Indication Form
                          (PTO/SB/47).
                                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals.............  ..................         537,438         537,438  ...........................          12,036  ..............       2,576,520
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association
  (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms
  which is $400 per hour. The hourly rate for paraprofessional/paralegals is estimated at $145 from data published in the 2018 Utilization and
  Compensation Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).


                                 Table 2--Burden Hour/Burden Cost to Respondents for Rules for Individuals or Households
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Estimated                                                                    Estimated
                                                Estimated        annual          Estimated time  for         Estimated     Rate \2\  ($/      annual
        Item No.                Item             annual         responses         response  (hours)        annual burden       hour)        respondent
                                               respondents       (year)                                     (hour/year)                     cost burden
                                                                        (a)  (b)........................     (a) x (b) =             (d)     (c) x (d) =
                                                                                                                     (c)                             (e)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1......................  Maintenance Fee                747             747  0.08 (5 minutes)...........              60            $145          $8,700
                          Transmittal
                          Transactions (PTO/
                          SB/45).
2......................  Electronic                  36,588          36,588  0.01 (0.5 minute)..........             366             145          53,070
                          Maintenance Fee
                          Transactions.
4......................  Petition to Accept             172             172  1..........................             172             400          68,800
                          Unintentionally
                          Delayed Payment
                          of Maintenance
                          Fee in an Expired
                          Patent (37 CFR
                          1.378(b)) (PTO/SB/
                          66).
5......................  Petition to Review               1               1  4..........................               4             400           1,600
                          Refusal to Accept
                          Payment of
                          Maintenance Fee
                          Prior to
                          Expiration of
                          Patent (37 CFR
                          1.377).
6......................  Petition for                     9               9  8..........................              72             400          28,800
                          Reconsideration
                          of Decision on
                          Petition Refusing
                          to Accept Delayed
                          Payment of
                          Maintenance Fee
                          in an Expired
                          Patent (37 CFR
                          1.378(d)).
7......................  ``Fee Address''              2,937           2,937  0.08 (5 minutes)...........             235             145          34,075
                          Indication Form
                          (PTO/SB/47).
                                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals.............  ..................          40,454          40,454  ...........................             909  ..............         195,045
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\2\ 2019 Report of the Economic Survey, published by the Committee on Economics of Legal Practice of the American Intellectual Property Law Association
  (AIPLA); https://www.aipla.org/detail/journal-issue/2019-report-of-the-economic-survey. The USPTO uses the mean rate for attorneys in private firms
  which is $400 per hour. The hourly rate for paraprofessional/paralegals is estimated at $145 from data published in the 2018 Utilization and
  Compensation Survey by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

    Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (Non-Hourly): $1,586,634,038. 
This information collection has no capital start-up, maintenance, or 
operating fees. This information collection does has filing fees and 
postage costs. The filing fees are associated with the maintenance of 
patents, which are listed in the table below. The total non-hour 
respondent cost burden for this information collection in the form of 
filing fees ($1,586,633,000) and postage costs ($1,038) is 
approximately $1,586,634,038.

[[Page 22939]]



                Table 3--Filing Fees--Non-Hour Cost Burden for Rules for Patent Maintenance Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Item No.                           Item                  Responses      Filing fee       Burden $
                                                                             (a)             (b)     (a) x (b) =
                                                                                                             (c)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or          220,200          $2,000    $440,400,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5
                                  Years (undiscounted entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or           49,000           1,000      49,000,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5
                                  Years (small entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or            4,500             500       2,250,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at 3.5
                                  Years (micro entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or          134,500           3,760     505,720,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5
                                  Years (undiscounted entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or           26,600           1,880      50,008,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5
                                  Years (small entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or            1,500             940       1,410,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at 7.5
                                  Years (micro entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or           63,800           7,700     491,260,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at
                                  11.5 Years (undiscounted
                                  entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or            9,200           3,850      35,420,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at
                                  11.5 Years (small entity).
1..............................  For Maintaining an Original or              600           1,925       1,155,000
                                  Any Reissue Patent, Due at
                                  11.5 Years (micro entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--3.5 year--Late                 3,600             500       1,800,000
                                  Payment Within 6 Months
                                  (undiscounted entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--3.5 year--Late                 6,450             250       1,612,500
                                  Payment Within 6 Months (small
                                  entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--3.5 year--Late                 1,200             125         150,000
                                  Payment Within 6 Months (micro
                                  entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--7.5 year--Late                 2,550             500       1,275,000
                                  Payment Within 6 Months
                                  (undiscounted entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--7.5 year--Late                 3,550             250         887,500
                                  Payment Within 6 Months (small
                                  entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--7.5 year--Late                   450             125          56,250
                                  Payment Within 6 Months (micro
                                  entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--11.5 year--Late                1,450             500         725,000
                                  Payment Within 6 Months
                                  (undiscounted entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--11.5 year--Late                1,500             250         375,000
                                  Payment Within 6 Months (small
                                  entity).
1..............................  Surcharge--11.5 year--Late                  250             125          31,250
                                  Payment Within 6 Months (micro
                                  entity).
3..............................  Petition for the Delayed                    650           2,100       1,365,000
                                  Payment of the Fee for
                                  Maintaining a Patent in Force
                                  (undiscounted entity).
3..............................  Petition for the Delayed                  1,500           1,050       1,575,000
                                  Payment of the Fee for
                                  Maintaining a Patent in Force
                                  (small entity).
3..............................  Petition for the Delayed                    300             525         157,500
                                  Payment of the Fee for
                                  Maintaining a Patent in Force
                                  (micro entity).
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
Totals..........................................................  ..............  ..............   1,586,633,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The public may submit the forms and petitions in this information 
collection to the USPTO by mail through the United States Postal 
Service. The USPTO estimates that the average postage cost for a mailed 
submission, using a Priority Mail 2-day flat rate legal envelope, will 
be $8.05. The USPTO estimates approximately 129 submissions per year 
may be mailed to the USPTO, for a total postage cost of $1,038 per 
year.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

IV. Request for Comments

    The USPTO is soliciting public comments to:
    (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses.
    All comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. USPTO will include or summarize each comment in the 
request to OMB to approve this information collection. Before including 
an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying 
information (PII) in a comment, be aware that the entire comment--
including PII--may be made publicly available at any time. While you 
may ask in your comment to withhold PII from public view, USPTO cannot 
guarantee that it will be able to do so.

Kimberly Hardy,
Information Collections Officer, Office of the Chief Administrative 
Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2021-09035 Filed 4-29-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P